Saturday, July 03, 2010

100 miles an hour

That's how I feel about life these days.  I am working a ton of hours which is fabulous....not complaining about that in this economy.  And I have 6 kids home eating and making messes.

I want to blog more, but life just seems to get in the way sometimes.  I am trying to find balance this summer and not make the kids feel like they are working all the time.  I'd love to do more fun things, but we just haven't made it happen much.  Well, other than the free movies at a local theater.  We get there almost every week.

We are planning a camping trip for the end of July and beginning of August.  We'll be using my in-law's RV.  I'm so thankful that we will be able to get away.  We will be doing the budget route, of course, but cooking over a campfire will be a break from cooking in my kitchen.

And it's summer and we are just starting in with our farm food.  Again, I'm so thankful to have all the food, but it does mean some extra work in the summer.  But like Barbara Kingsolver says in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, it's just making dinner in advance.  I finally finished that book this morning.  I've been reading it for literally years.  I would misplace it or get busy and then pick it up again later.  I can't recommend it enough.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

my little man...

The past couple of days I have spent a different kind of time with my little man.  Yesterday we had lunch on our own since Kelli was at an extended day of school on a field trip.

Then there were a couple of errands...and one of them was to Target.  He picked out band-aids.  But then he changed his mind.  Twice.  It's a big decision between Toy Story and Spider Man and Hot Wheels.  I had brought one of his Christmas gift cards with us too so he could pick out a little something.  He chose more Trios so then we got to come home and build it together.

This morning after the big kids all went to school (2 hours late since it was a late start day), we went to check out where we hope to send him to preschool.  At first he thought he would want to do something there on his own and I could wait for him.  After we parked the car and were walking up, he changed his mind.  He was more tentative but did seem interested.  Then on the way home we stopped at the park for a while.  He is just so grown up all of a sudden.

Next year he will be at preschool 4 mornings a week and I will be alone.  It will be the end of a long season in my life.  While I am excited for him and so excited to see how he is growing, I will miss having him as a companion day in and day out.  I haven't been alone like that in over 14 years!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


This morning I was heading out to do a couple of errands with Jack E.  It is still so strange to only have him around all morning every week day, but he is great company!

I was making the list of where I needed to go and what I needed to do.  I knew the last stop before kindergarten pick up would be the grocery store.   It got me thinking about my errand days 10-12 years ago.  OY!  Even grocery shopping with 2 or 3 little ones was a chore.  And we had a system it seemed.

I would have my list ready the night before.  Coupons and sale flyer in the diaper bag.  By the time I got us all ready and out the door it was usually around 10.  I would go to the store and stock up, but it would take a while.  More often than not, I would hit the drive through on the way home.  Yes, I had a car full of groceries, but I also had a 2 year old, 1 year old and pregnant belly.  Or the next year, a baby, a 2 year old and a 3 year old.  And the idea of carrying in groceries with 2 or 3 hungry kids and then getting them some lunch was just overwhelming.  So we picked up some lunch.  Thankfully they could share an order of chicken nuggets and an order of fries.

I called it survival.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

baking bread

I'm trying to get back in the swing of things where the kitchen is concerned.  Today I am starting a batch of bread that I will bake tomorrow.  I am out almost every night this week with different things, half of which include dinner so my cooking is all messed up.

But I did get all the laundry (minus a few towels and sheets on beds) done and put away on Monday. I'm not sure how that happened, but it did.

It is so warm and sunny here this week.  I really have spring fever.  I went for a nice walk today with no jacket.  So nice, both the warmth and the solitude.  I'm hoping with longer and warmer days I can get out more for a walk.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

update on those goals

This winter has been crazy it seems.  I am still trying desperately to find some balance in my life.  I had a bunch of goals that I set out for this year.  I'm doing OK with some, great with others and totally given up on others.  And I am OK with that.  It's all about priorities.  I can only do so much and I have a lot that is laundry and making dinner every night and helping kids with homework and working and sleeping.

So here's where I am with some of these things...

--get back to more consistent menu planning and making use of the food we have on hand

I've done really well with this one.  This is the first week since January that I didn't make a meal plan for the week.  I have really tried to look at our freezer and fridge as I planned meals and I've stuck to the plan even when I had second thoughts.  It really does make life easier to know what I am supposed to be doing in my kitchen.

--get back to making our bread, probably using more of the 5-minutes a day approach

This one has been good and bad.  I was doing great until a couple of weeks ago when I made a bread that was a flop.  (I now have a big canister of whole wheat bread crumbs!  lol)  I've been thinking all week that I should start some bread.  And I will...maybe today even.

--make our yogurt

I'm doing pretty well here.  I am having a hard time keeping up in fact.  The kids really like yogurt with banana and some chocolate chips as a snack or dessert.  I've been doing 4 pints at a time and I really need to step it up to 4 quarts.

--read the Bible in 90 days (our church is doing this and my Emma wants to do the kids' portion too)

This one has been totally abandoned.  I just couldn't do it.  It's not that I'm not interested in spiritual things or in being better at my devotion to God.  I just couldn't commit to that much reading every single day.  I guess I could have, but I chose other things as more important.  And I'm OK with that.

--spend more time knitting or blogging or reading for information and less time playing silly games on the computer

Good and bad...I am trying to spend my time better, but I find myself choosing to be lazy and unproductive and using facebook as a really good distraction.

--lose the 15 pounds that have crept on in the past 18 months

I've lost 5.  I'm good with that one too.

--do the Couch Potato to 5K program

It's still too cold and snowy.  Summer is coming...summer is coming...summer is coming.  I did get a yoga DVD and have been doing that the past couple of weeks.  I think I am actually finding my butt under all those peanut M&M's and carmel corn!  lol

--make breakfast for my kids

Doing this one really well.  I have found a couple of new things to put into our rotation and I plan to make some granola soon that they can use as cereal.  This one is really important to me because I want them to have a healthy breakfast and not just eat a processed cereal for breakfast.  It is also complicated by my working nights.  I get home from my current contract around 6:20, and the 2 oldest head out the door and hour or so later.  I have to have a plan for breakfast the night before.  That's where meal planning has been a lifesaver since I plan breakfasts, too.

--incorporate more homeopathy into our family

I've purchased a couple of things.  I want to do better, but it takes research and I've already admitted that I am highly distracted with this laptop!  lol  The one thing that has been great is callendula cream.  I got it because it's kind of an all around thing for skin.  I get cracks in my skin on my thumbs and index fingers especially...all that handwashing from baby care and cooking I guess.  Emma and Clay get chapped chins and faces.  The callendula has been great for both.

--eat more fruit

Definitely better.  I'm opting for a piece of fruit for snack as opposed to bread and butter.   Maybe that has something to do with my shrinking behind, too?

--try to salvage my kefir grains and get back to using kefir for soaking oats and flour for pancakes

Yes and no.  I was doing great until last week.  Now my grains are shoved in the fridge again.

--figure out my sewing machine enough to do simple mending

I haven't touched it!  But Trey has taken a family sciences class in middle school and he's used it!

--clean out closets and donate more of our excess

Always a work in progress...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

the ultimatum

I just told my oldest that she's got to put it away or I'm giving it away.  *gulp*  Did I really just say that?!

I am so tired of the "clean your room or else" conversation.  We have taken away priveleges...we have restricted activites...none of that is working.  So I'm done.  Now I just have to do it.

Somewhere along the lines of going to work at nights and working LOTS of nights, I feel like I have lost control of the stuff in this house.  It is driving me crazy!  I know there are 8 of us here, but we are such accumulators of stuff!  Why do we need to keep so much stuff?  I find myself not wanting to let them buy anything (even with their own money) because there's so much stuff already in their rooms or in the basement or in the front room.  I have got to do some major tossing around here.

I can say that I just got rid of 3 trash bags full of VHS tapes!  One bag was just junk...old TV shows and such but I have 2 of the bags in the back of my car to take to Goodwill.  I'm guessing someone out there still has a working VHS player? to figure out some lunch and then fill another bag of stuff.  And I need to bake a couple of cakes today too

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'd forgotten... much I love crochet.  I've been doing a lot more knitting for the past 8-10 months.  Crochet has been on the back burner (as in the projects I've started and pushed to the bottom of my craft shelves).  But I wanted to make some simple washcloths for a classroom basket for the elementary school auction.  I decided to crochet them because I knew it would go faster.

Then I picked up some yarn to make an afghan for my new nephew who will soon be here in the US.  I started knitting a gauge swatch and realized I didn't have the right size needles.  Instead of running out and getting different needles, I crocheted a swatch instead.  I really like the look of the knitted fabric, but I'd forgotten how quickly I can crochet a baby blanket.  I'd forgotten how easy it is to rip a little out and go back to fix a mistake.  I'd forgotten how easy it is to pick up the project for 5 minutes here and there.

The blanket will be done really soon, and I will keep working on knitting my second pair of socks.  But for now, I am blissfully hooking away.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday holidays

They always mess up my routine around here.  Usually when I get the kids out the door for school on Monday morning, I do a pick up and put away (and lots of throwing away) of what has been lying around all weekend.  But when the kids are having a day off from school it just seems....wrong somehow to do that kind of thing.  So it will be pushed off until tomorrow.  I did some of the picking up and the kids will all have a 10 minute clean up later when Clay gets back from the movies.

His 5th grade class was meeting at the theater today to see The Lightening Thief.  They have read the book this year so took this day off from school to see the movie.  D took him and stayed to watch the movie.  It's a good time for them to do something together on their own.  Clay was really excited to do something on his own today.

One of the best things about February is the broken up school schedule.  My elementary don't have a full 5 day week of school all month.  Two of the weeks they have their late start for teachers to have professional time.  This week is President's Day and last week they had early dismissal on Friday (with no kindergarten at all on Friday).  It gives me something to look forward before spring makes its appearance.  Then again...this is Colorado.  We could get a huge snowstorm in April or May.  I'm ready for t-shirts and flip-flops.....

Saturday, February 13, 2010

up early this morning

I'm talking about Jack E and Kelli, not me.  I worked last night so I was hoping to come home and nap for a while on the couch before anyone else was up.  Then I would make them breakfast and we would all be happy.  I'm getting a nasty sore throat (first sickness since the flu in October) and I really wanted that nap.

BUT...I walked in the door and saw the 2 little ones playing and having a good time.  Jack E is planning a stuffed animal puppet show for later.  Honestly he wants to do it now, but I told him he has to wait until it's not dark outside...and the rest of the family is awake.

Yesterday my Kelli went to a Fancy Nancy birthday party at her friend's house down the street.  They all were supposed to wear their fancy clothes.  And she came home with some extra glam.  Here's my fancy girl

Time to make them some breakfast I guess!

Friday, February 12, 2010

checking in

I've been reading my regular blogger friends the past week or so and have found a new one.  She has 16 kiddos and still blogs a couple of times a day.  HUH!

So I guess instead of playing a game on Facebook and thinking about saying something, I could actually take that time to blog.

The 3 kids in elementary school have all had their Valentine's Day parties today (or yesterday for miss Kelli the kindergartener).  They are sufficiently sugared up now I do believe.  So I made them cookies of course!  Trey bought flowers for today telling me they were for his teacher.  He has 2 female teachers, one he absolutely can't stand and the other he mildly tolerates.  I tried to get the truth out of him this morning, but no luck.  So his older sister ratted him out.  They were for a friend to give his girlfriend.  Don't know why the friend couldn't buy his own flowers, but that is so cute.  It makes me think of getting my first little Valentine gift from a boy in 6th grade.  He gave me a necklace with the smallest speck of what looked like a diamond.  I think we broke up like 2 weeks later.

Tonight D and I are going to a Naughty or Nice valentine's party.  I am so not a naughty person.  I have no idea what to take.  Maybe some of those fresh baked cookies?  Or some chocolates?  Or some little panties from the dollar store?

I'll think of something I guess...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

busy days

Last week was full of appointments and errands and 2 birthdays.  This week looks worse.  Survival mode to say the least!

Monday, January 18, 2010

weekend update

I love these holiday Monday mornings.  I love the whole second semester of school.  It seems there is a holiday every other week.  Such a nice gift in the winter when we are all a little weary of school, but the last day of school is still months away!

Saturday a couple of fun things happened.  Emma learned to ride a bike.  She's 8, in third grade and has just never taken the plunge to get on a bike.  She really doesn't have a big bike her size that's all her own.  I think she got her last bike when she was 3 or 4, so she's due for a new one.  (And I have it from a reliable source that Santa was ready to get her one until she asked for a clarinet instead!)  But since there are 3 kids older than Emma, there is a bike in her size.  We convinced her to try it out Saturday.

It took her about 3 tries to figure it out.  I had gone for a short walk.  When I left they were filling the tires on the bike.  When I came home 30 minutes later, Emma was riding all around.  We have a great spot to learn to ride.  It's a cul-de-sac with just enough of an incline to make "starting" a whole lot easier without getting too much speed.

Clay also got on his new bike (from Santa) and got a feel for it too.  Oh, and Kelli on her little bike with the training wheels?  Too cute.

Earlier on Saturday, the cat was outside with the dog.  The cat is black, about 6-7 months old and feisty as anything!  The dog is white (a German shepherd) and about 10 years old and doesn't move very fast at all!

Kelli opened the door to go outside and Duane heard this awful animal screaming sound.  He looked and there was a woodpecker on the ground with the dog and cat standing over it.  The cat had caught the woodpecker and mortally injured it.  The dog picked the bird up in his mouth, gave it a chomp and put it out of its misery.  Thankfully the dog then dropped the bird.

Duane had them both come inside while we disposed of the bird.  Makes me a little nervous to think about getting chicks this spring again.  We'll have to keep the cat away until they are big enough to stand up to him!

Friday, January 15, 2010


and I am so glad!!!  My trip to the dentist wasn't too bad.  I was a little frustrated because the dental assistant wasn't too supportive of Emma.  Em has a really hard time with anxiety and the dentist or the doctor or anything out of the ordinary.  She had her valium before the extraction and was getting nitrous and was feeling anxious.  Instead of comforting her or saying something positive and encouraging, she told her to stop, that they hadn't even done anything yet.  grrrr!

She was seeing the second dentist in the office instead of our usual one.  I will make sure Emma doesn't see her or her assistant again.  The other assistants and hygenists know her there and know that she is not an easy patient so they treat her with kid gloves.  The other dentist is great for her too.  I'll have to make sure she sees all of our regulars.

The kids have completed 2 weeks of back to school now.  And I am happy to say that they have had a warm breakfast everyday.  I really wanted to get back away from eating cereal again, and so far so good!

I'm finding it hard to get very motivated today.  Fridays always feel like special days to me.  It's probably because when D was working full time at a church, Fridays were his day off.  It just feels like the beginning of the weekend to me.  LOVE that!  And I love that it's a 3 day weekend.  ahhh...

I guess I need to go buy some TP.  We are on the end of the last roll in one bathroom.  I'm not really sure how I managed to let us run completely out, but we can't last very long on what we have so it's time to make a TP run!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

the dentist

Today I took Emma to the dentist for a broken tooth.  It had a cavity that had been filled and has now cracked and broken off.  Today they took x-rays and decided to extract it tomorrow.

In 2 weeks I take Emma and Aleena in for their regular cleaning.  Then the next day Jack and Kelli have their cleanings.  The big boys go the week after that.  Then I'm sure there will be follow up appointments for fillings or whatever.

This is the season I wind up in the dentist's office every week for a couple of months.  Not my favorite season.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday already?

I feel like I say that a lot!  We tried to have a relaxing weekend.  I had worked 50 hours from the time we got home Sunday afternoon until I was home on Saturday morning.  I just wanted to rest and have some time to do what I wanted.

It had been so cold here for so long.  Even before the really cold weather, we just hadn't had the mild days that are normal for Colorado.  On Friday it was finally into the 40's and snow and ice was melting so I went for a walk.  I took an even longer walk on Saturday and another walk on Sunday afternoon.  I forget what a respite taking a walk is.  It gives me time to just listen to music or think or whatever.  And I like the exercise, too!

I haven't knit anything in a week!  It's bugging me.  But I made this commitment to read so much of the Bible every day that I just don't feel like I have the time to do both...and juggle household stuff and spend some time with my husband and kids!

My big goal for the month of January is to clean out my basement.  We have toys down there that the kids just never touch anymore.  A friend of ours is going to move into our basement for a few months I think, too, so we need to make space for him.  It's one of those things that I am just having a hard time getting started.  Tomorrow is the day.  D will be at the farm, my dinner will be started super early, so I will be down there most of the day.  I hope!

Friday, January 08, 2010

vacation pictures

Here are a few pictures from our trip over New Years to Glenwood Springs.

This is me and the kids standing outside the hotel.

At the Caverns they have cave tours and an Alpine Slide.  The older kids also saw some 4D movies and played laser tag.

This is the view from the "dingalo" (otherwise known as a gondola) coming down from the top of the mountain where the caverns are.

And later we went to dinner.  We were still trying to warm up!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

more small steps

Even though I haven't felt super motivated lately, I have tried to do a little bit of something productive.  I've made yogurt, beef bone broth (to make French onion soup), done a huge grocery shopping trip and got a bunch of laundry done.

Today it is really cold here.  So I am on the couch.  I think I will spend the afternoon knitting and watching a movie on my laptop!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

lack of motivation

I went to work with a headache last night.  A headache just from being tired.  Baby was pretty cooperative...she finished a feeding around 8 (when I got there), then was up at 12, 3:30 and again at 6 as I was leaving.  I came home and fell into bed instead of jumping into laundry and finishing dishes from last night like I had planned.  The kids had cleaned up the kitchen, but I needed to wash my big pans.

D got up with the kids to make sure they were all on the bus on time.  He came in panicked because he couldn't find the little girls' coats.  Oh, yeah, that's why I was supposed to come home to the laundry.  Coats were in the dryer.

D also got to clean up after the dog this morning.  He's an old guy and every once in a while needs out in the night.  But no one ever hears his whining, but me.  If he's ignored long enough, he will find a spot to poo.  Happy day!

I need to get my act together.  I have to pick Kelli up from kindergarten in an hour!  I'm still tired, and I am planning on a little naptime this afternoon as well.

Monday, January 04, 2010

good start

We are home from vacation now and today I took some steps toward some of the goals I have for this year.

--I made a menu for the week based on meats that I have in my freezer.

--I made a huge batch of pancakes and froze about half for quick breakfasts when I don't have the energy for more than that.

--I found my yogurt jars and got them all cleaned and ready to go.  Tomorrow I will make yogurt.

--I did my 90 reading yesterday and have started on it for today.

--I spent a good amount of time reading in the car yesterday and not just playing a game on my phone.

Small steps feel good.  But tonight I have a headache.  I don't want to finish my reading for the day.  But I will spend some time reading tonight while I'm at work.  It's easy to read off of my phone even if the baby is restless and needs to be held.

No walk today even though it was a gorgeous day.  This headache was coming on and I was really tired.  I worked last night and the next 3 nights so I thought a nap was a better priority.

Saturday, January 02, 2010


We have been away for a few days and it has been wonderful.  My oldest daughter was complaining early on that this trip "sucked".  Then I reminded her that she hadn't had to unload the dishwasher or vacuum.  That is a vacation in my opinion.  I have enjoyed just being with family and not having a schedule to keep.  But it is pricey!  We rarely dine out as a family or even a couple.  And our kids know that eating out is a luxury so they try to enjoy it too.  We head home tomorrow.  My husband got a few pictures that I will try to post after we get home.